Living a purposeful life is built on the maxim that says, ‘one good turn deserves another’. It presupposes that anyone who lives for the good of others would ultimately receive a similar gesture. Sometimes, it goes beyond the individual who did the good and extends to the offspring or other family members. This saying is largely subscribed to by many cultures around the world.

Great inventors around the globe are always remembered for their contributions to the betterment of mankind. Such people include:

  • Thomas Edison (1847-1931), known for his work with light bulbs, electricity, film and audio devices.
  • Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1869), who invented the telephone. One of his first innovations after the telephone was the “photophone,” a device that enabled sound to be transmitted on a beam of light.
  • Johannes Gutenberg (1394-1468), a German goldsmith and inventor best known for the Gutenberg press, an innovative printing machine that used movable tyres.
  • John Logie Baird (1888-1946), is remembered as the inventor of mechanical television (an earlier version of television). Baird also patented inventions related to radar and fibre optics.
  • Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot (1725-1804), was a French inventor who built the first working self-propelled land-based mechanical vehicle, the world’s first automobile. While Henry Ford (1863-1947) improved the “assembly line” for automobile manufacturing, received a patent for a transmission mechanism, and popularized the gas-powered car with the Model-T.
  • George Washington Carver (1864-1943), was an agricultural chemist who invented three hundred uses for peanuts and hundreds of more uses for soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes. His contributions changed the history of agriculture in the south.

The above is just a tiny fraction of the great minds whose their living laid the foundation for tremendous progress in the human race. Their names are written on plaques of gold and would be remembered for their works as long as the world exists.

Living a life of impact involves a form of contest which results in a win or a defeat. Many lived but could not conquer the battle of life, while some others were able to fight and defeat the battle of life. The secret behind failure or victory substantially hangs on the approach adopted by each individual towards the challenges of life. Many lost the battle due to ignorance while others did as a result of carelessness – such people are so complacent and refuse to make use of the chances that life provides; they accept defeat as fate even when there are opportunities to make progress.

Any person who wants to succeed in life needs to first demystify distractions to identify core barriers to the journey of life. To be on top of life’s situations, one must invest in self through relevant trainings, with the determination to defeat failure and sustain success.

That said, the question remains: why is life pleasant to some and bitter for some others? The reason for this could be unravelled from two moral perspectives: the thought of contentment and greed.

Contentment is a mental or emotional state of satisfaction expressed at every ladder of aspiration in life. This manifests in form of peace of mind and clear conscience. Greed, on the other hand, is an overwhelming urge to have more of something, usually more than one really needs. It is a desire to acquire anything, mostly material possessions, as much of it is possible. There is no peace of mind for the greedy.

From the foregoing, we can see that life being pleasant or bitter has a direct relationship with an individual’s perception of aspiration priority. Aspirations that have global effect often outlive many generations because it is like the exchange of the baton in a relay race which continues until probably human extinction. For instance, the aspirations of the likes of Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot and Thomas Edison, who began the works on automobile and light bulbs are no longer the way they left them; they have evolved because they have been improved upon by others. However, in the book of history, the names of these great inventors are written in gold and cannot be erased.

Love is the key word that guarantees a peaceful and pleasant life. Wherever there is love, there is peace and progress. Love is a catalyst for invention. Most inventors were driven by the love to find solutions to human challenges. That is why today those things that were barriers to human existence, hundred or fifty years ago, are no longer there. The whole world has become a global village. On the other hand, hate, the basis for unforgiveness, is a missile for bitterness and destruction. Man is not born for hate but for love. Wherever you find hate, there you’ll find sorrow and backwardness.

If your index of fulfilment in life does not translate to the betterment of human existence, you are a failure. Any achievement that is not out of the love for others is inconsequential. The concept of a fulfilled life is encapsulated in the expression of love and forgiveness of offence. 

Pastor Bosun Obafemi is an author and a journalist with a print media organization. He also Pastors a zone of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.

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